Bariatric Surgery: 3 Myths & Their Truths
Written By: Emma Squillace
You likely know some of the benefits of bariatric surgery. These operations are the safest and most effective ways to lose substantial amounts of weight. In addition, many people who have bariatric surgery find their long-term health problems are cured or go into remission. But if you’ve been researching weight loss surgery, you may have come across some myths you’re wondering about. Today we’ll cover three of the popular myths we have been asked about often.
Myth 1: The risk of surgery is greater than the risk of being obese
Being nervous about having surgery is very reasonable. After all, even though our bariatric surgeries are minimally invasive and safe, the idea of a surgical procedure can make anyone nervous. And it’s true that there are risks to any surgery – no matter what it is. However, the risks associated with our bariatric operations are substantially lower than the risks of obesity. The risk of dying from bariatric surgery is even less than that of other operations – including hip replacement and gallbladder removal.
According to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, large studies have shown that patients who have bariatric surgery are at much less risk for death from any cause, over time, compared to patients who are obese and do not have bariatric surgery. They say there is “up to an 89 percent reduction in mortality (from all causes)… Cancer mortality, for instance, is reduced by 60 percent for bariatric patients. Death in association with diabetes is reduced by more than 90 percent and that from heart disease by more than 50 percent.” These are substantial changes in risk of death from cancer, heart disease, and diabetes – which are only possible because of the bariatric surgeries we have available today.
Myth 2: Bariatric surgery is for people who don’t have the willpower to lose weight ‘naturally’.
This is simply not true. If significant weight loss was that easy, everyone would be losing weight. Obesity is an incredibly complex issue, and studies have shown this is not a question of willpower. There are causes of obesity that are out of our control including genetic, metabolic, and environmental causes.
Many people who demonstrate strength, willpower, and dedication through their families and careers, are still unable to lose weight. As experts in obesity and weight loss, we can assure you that losing a lot of weight always involves willpower and strength. Bariatric surgery is the tool that allows those personal qualities to finally lead to weight loss success.
Myth 3: You’ll struggle with dangerous vitamin deficiencies after surgery
Some bariatric procedures, especially the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass, can lead to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. However, we will give you a clear education about what supplements to take after your surgery. Patients who take their supplements, rarely have trouble with vitamin deficiencies. There is also some risk of deficiencies from nutrients like protein since you’ll be taking in less food. However, the team at West Medical will make sure you are prepared for what types of food to be eating, to avoid any deficiencies.
The choice to have any surgery is not an easy choice. It is important to truly understand the benefits and risks associated with the procedure you’re considering. If you are obese, bariatric surgery is an important treatment to consider, because of the substantial health risks that come with obesity. People who choose weight loss surgery often lose pounds they’ve been struggling with for years or decades, and many see chronic diseases reverse themselves. We also have non-surgical weight loss options like several gastric balloon choices. The West Medical weight loss team, led by Dr. Hooman, is here to make sure you are educated and confident about making that choice for yourself. Our team is happy to answer questions for you, to make sure you understand your options. We can be reached at (855) 690-0565.